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Date Snippet Page
2014/06/02 Oil income in the 2013-4 financial year was USD 3.5 bn. After deductions for loan repayment and agreed contribution to Sudan, the revenue for GRSS was 1.9 bn, according to the oil minister. Snippet: Oil income in the 2013-4 financial year was USD 3.5 bn. After deductio....
2014/05/28 South Sudan has borrowed USD 200 million from oil operators and delayed repayment of domestic loans, says the finance minister. This follows a fall in oil production caused by the ongoing rebellion. Snippet: South Sudan has borrowed USD 200 million from oil operators and delaye....
2014/05 Financiers do not allow work to resume on one [?or both] of the oil refineries being built in Unity and Upper Nile. The construction company is Vintech Engineering of Texas, contracted by Frontier group (Hong Kong/Dubai) with Africano (managed by Obac William Olawo, an economic advisor to President Kiir, who also runs the Toyota dealership Crown Auto Trade Ltd and is said to be 'one of South Sudan's richest men'). Snippet: Financiers do not allow work to resume on one [?or both] of the oil re....
2014/05/15 The GRSS Information Minister claims that the US is waging a proxy war against the government in order to gain control of South Sudan's oil, according to a report in The Standard (Nairobi). He says that Riek Machar and his group have promised when in power to help the Americans gain oil concessions, and suggests that US pressure made IGAD mediators propose the interim government plan which President Kiir signed. Snippet: The GRSS Information Minister claims that the US is waging a proxy war....
2014/04/27 Dinka youth in the northern part of Upper Nile State have reportedly been mobilized on behalf of GRSS to help defend the Paloich oilfields. Snippet
2014/04/15 Employees of Safinat Caspian Oil Refining Company, building a refinery about 25km from Bentiu, come under attack (presumably by rebel forces) are extracted by UN peacekeepers to Bentiu. Five of them are wounded, two critically. Snippet
2014/03/19 The SPLA recaptures Malakal from rebels. A rebel spokesperson says they will claim the oil fields in Upper Nile State, and resist the deployment of any IGAD force sent to defend the infrastructure. Snippet
2013/12/15 to 2014/03 Oil production by GPOC and SPOC in Unity State was closed down when the SPLA 4th Division defected to rebels in December 2013 (although the DPOC production in Upper Nile continued). By March 2014 GPOC is sending some staff back, and hopes production may resume in 1-2 months. Snippet
2014/03 GRSS requests IGAD nations to provide battalions to protect the oilfields. Snippet
2014/03/02 South Sudan's oil production has fallen nearly 30% - from 245,000 bpd to 175,000 bpd - since the rebellion of December 2013, according to President Kiir's press secretary. Snippet
2014/02 President Kiir countermands the creation of a state ministry of petroleum and mining by Upper Nile governor Simon Kun Puoch, on grounds that it was unconstitutional. Snippet
2014/02/21 Oil production is closed in Adar and Gumri fields, as rebels capture Akoka base from the SPLA, and foreign oil workers are evacuated to Juba. Snippet
2014/02 Oil continues to be extracted normally in Upper Nile, but there is a strong threat from the rebels, according to oil minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau. SPLM-in-Opposition says closing down the oil fields has not been its objective, but it may attack them if GOSS continues to attack areas under its control. Snippet
2013/10 The Commissioner of Melut County highlights adverse effects of oil production in his county. He seeks implementation of an environmental and social audit as provided for in the Petroleum Act, with a view to compensation of the affected communities by DPOC (the oil consortium implicated). Snippet
2013/06 to 2013/10 South Sudan received USD 1.3 billion from oil sales between June and October, according to the oil ministry. At the same time it paid USD 0.33 billion to Sudan as tariffs and Transitional Financial Agreement payments. About 85 per cent of the oil was produced from the Upper Nile fields. Snippet
2013/10/08 The education minister says that the allowances of university lecturers (who are striking) cannot be reinstated until January 2014, because the government's oil revenues have not yet returned to pre-shut-down (January 2012) levels. Snippet
2012/03/02 LAPSSET (the Lamu Port, South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport) corridor project - a Kenya-led regional transportation project - is inaugurated by the leaders of Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia. The project is planned to create: a heavy transportation road from Kenya to Nadapal (Eastern Equatoria State), a railway line connecting Kenya to Nakodok (Eastern Equatoria State) and an oil pipeline connecting South Sudan to Lamu Port in Kenya. Snippet 1320
2013/10 Delays in opening South Sudan's first two oil refineries - at Tharjiaf (Unity State) and Thiang Rial (Upper Nile State) - are blamed on non-arrival of equipment, due partly to poor road access. Snippet
2013/09 Unity State backs plans for the relocation of residents presently living around an oil installation in Rubkotna County. State officials say that GPOC will 'reimburse' those forced to move. Snippet
2013/09 Civil society groups hold a workshop on transparency and accountability in the management of public natural resources. They have a working group on accountability and transparency. Norwegian People's Aid is apparently involved in the workshop. The workshop appears to be a follow-up of the one of September 2012, looking at the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) worldwide coalition of coalitions. Snippet 1222
2013/08/19 Unity State caretaker governor, Joseph Nguen Monytuel sacks and replaces the county commissioners of Payinjiar, Rubkotna and Koch. Snippet
2013/08/12 Sudan's deadline for closing the oil pipeline is extended a further two weeks to 6th September, as a result of further mediation between Presidents Bashir and Kiir by Thabo Mbeki and Zhong Jianhua (China's special envoy to Africa). Snippet 1132
2012/11/01 111 South Sudanese embark on a two year course as production operations and technicians, at Petronas' training institute in Malaysia, INSTEP. Snippet
2013/04 to 2013/05 South Sudan's oil production restarts in the Unity State oilfields in early April, producing 30-40,000 barrels per day. It re-starts in Upper Nile in early May, producing 125,000 barrels per day, which is expected to increase gradually up to early 2014. Snippet
2011/11/07 President Kiir orders the transfer of the shares of Sudan's state oil company, Sudapet, to South Sudan's company, Nilepet. The claim of nationalization is backdated to Independence Day (2011/07/09). Snippet 1101
2006 to 2008/04 Officials of Koch County in Unity State claim that 30 people have died in the last two years from the effects of water contamination produced by the Jath oilfield. Samples taken by an NGO called Sign of Hope are said to show nitrate level above 80 miligrams per litre. Snippet
2013/07/29 Ministry of Mining receives official notification that Sudan is extending the deadline on its threat of closing the oil pipeline, by an additional two weeks from 7th August. Snippet
2013/07/26 Sudan appears to agree to proposals from China and AUHIP to delay its threatened shutdown of the oil pipeline by fifteen days. Snippet 1031
2013/07/16 South Sudan begins reducing its extraction of oil, ahead of threatened closure of the pipeline by Sudan on 7th August. South Sudan's rate of extraction peaked at 200,000 barrels/day in the period since April when it re-started. This compares with a maximum of 300,000 barrels a day in the period before the shutdown in early 2012. Snippet
2013/02 GOSS spokesman says that tenders will be issued for oil concessions in sub-blocks in a transparent way. Snippet 981
2013/04/06 South Sudan resumed pumping its oil on 6 Apr 2013. Snippet 818
2013/02 GOSS officials fell Government of Kenya is too slow in pursuing the Lamu port and pipeline project. Snippet 705
2013/02 A GOSS minister says South Sudan has recently 'finalised the sale of several oil concessions worth between $200 million and $300 million each'. One is rumoured to be with a Nigerian company. More such deals are hoped for in order to ease GOSS's finances. (Reuters, 14 Feb 2013) (But compare this with Snippet 981.) Snippet 679
2013/02 As of February 2013, GOSS ministers were still pursuing alternative approaches for a southern oil pipeline. It is still unclear whether it would go through Ethiopia and Djibouti or to Lamu in Kenya perhaps via Uganda. It appears that an international private company or consortium would have to raise the money and then own and operate the pipeline. Despite a lack of clear agreements the petroleum and mining minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau, insists that construction will begin by October. (Sudan Tribune, 9 February 2013) Snippet 640
2012 The oil shutdown of 2012 had less impact than it might because 'the majority of the South's oil income had never previously reached the people but had been siphoned off and ferreted abroad by members of the ruling elite' (Alex de Waal, 2013) Snippet 605
2012 IMF estimates that RSS's GDP contracted by 55 percent in 2012 (due mainly to oil shutdown) (Alex de Waal, 2013). Snippet 600
Reference Mini-review
Global Witness, 2014/06. Bibliography item: Global Witness (2014/06) "South Sudan: The call for a moratorium on new oil contracts". (Report). Global Witness. [Report] Global Witness. Accessed online.

This attractively-presented 8-page document argues that GRSS should stop making any more big deals with companies in the petroleum sector until it has finished enacting and implementing the legislation that is meant to regulate them. GRSS has not yet met the requirements of the 2012 Petroleum Act. The Petroleum Revenue Management Bill has long been awaiting signature in the President's office. Until these are in place, deals signed are unlikely to be very favourable for the South Sudanese people.

Nhial Tiitmamer, 2014/04/22. South Sudan’s Mining Policy and Resource Curse [Report] The Sudd Institute. Accessed online.

This paper is designed to prompt and inform amendments to the Policy Framework for the Minerals and Mining Sector, 2013 (a document whose contents are only briefly described, and apparently not currently available on the internet). Based partly on the good practice of Botswana, the paper contends that the policy should include more two-way linkages with strategies in other sectors, especially road and energy infrastructure, education, and health. It should also include the creation of mineral resource funds, and insist on remediation and reclamation for defunct mining sites.


Luke Patey, 2014/03/31. India’s Kings of Crude Troubled by Oil Investments in Africa [Article] African Arguments. Accessed online.

Argues that India needs stronger diplomatic involvement in South Sudan in order to protect the commercial interests of ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), whose oil production has been hit by the recent crisis of rebellion.

HSBA, 2014/03/18. The Conflict in Unity State [Article] Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan, Small Arms Survey. Accessed online.

1,400-word article narrating the fighting in Unity State associated with the rebellion since December 2013.

Arop Madut Arop Gotnyial, 2014. Background to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan [Article] Sudan Tribune. Accessed online., Accessed online.

A long article (divided into four parts) containing beliefs and analysis of an MP. Among topics covered are: the current need for Ugandan forces in South Sudan; lack of control over oil money; failings of international aid; deplorably ad-hoc origins of the civil service; and lack of cultural integration of population groups with different experiences during the war. The author thinks the SPLM Politburo should have been more active in the governance process, but wasn't because many of its members were made ministers, and were then alienated when President Kiir sacked them in mid-2013.


Makol Bona Malwal, 2013/09/17. South Sudan: A third alternative to the oil pipeline proposal [Article] Sudan Tribune. Accessed online.

An argument for building a road highway to transport oil produced in South Sudan, as an alternative to pipelines or railway.

Jeremy Taylor, 2013/06/26. Oil politics, Asian suitors, and alternative pipelines in South Sudan [Article] Think Africa Press. Accessed online.

Assesses the geopolitical implications (especially regarding China and Japan) of South Sudan's apparent agreement for a Japanese company to build and manage a southern pipeline for its oil.

The Economist, 2013/05/25. Pipeline poker [Article] The Economist. Accessed online.

Reports several oil pipeline plans in East Africa, pointing out a lack of trust and co-ordination between the countries involved. It also says that the East African oil-producers are too eager to build refineries, which are unlikely to be economic. Contracts have been signed for two small refineries in Juba.

Elke Grawert and Christine Andrä, 2013/05. Oil investment and recovery in Upper Nile State, South Sudan [Report] Bonn International Center of Conversion. Accessed online.

Reports a study of relations between local communities, government and oil corporations in oilfield areas of Blocks 3 and 7 in Melut and Maban Counties, Upper Nile State. Includes useful background chapter on oil and confilct in Sudan and South Sudan.

OpenOil and Cordaid, 2013/04. South Sudan: extractives in ten minutes [Report] OpenOil. Accessed online.

Accessible simple introduction to issues of oil in South Sudan (three pages including a nice map).



National Petroleum and Gas Commission

The composition, powers and functions of the NPGC are set out in the Petroleum Act 2012, Chapter III. It is independent from the petroleum ministry, and its purpose seems to be to provide strategic policy direction and supervision of petroleum affairs in a way which involves a wider range of government bodies. Hence its members are also drawn from the Land Commission, environment ministry, finance ministry, and the main oil-producing states. Its members are appointed by the President of South Sudan.

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GOSS budgeting, 2005 - 2011


The chart on the right and table below show the amounts of money that GOSS planned to receive and spend in its annual budgets, 2008-2011, along with the actual amounts received and spent, 2007-2010. It appears that the amount of actual government spending was determined more by actual revenues than by spending plans. Actual revenues came almost wholly from oil production shares, and their variation in these years mainly reflected changes in the global price of oil.

This difference between budget and outcome raises questions about the quality of much of the spending, and the administration of reserve funds. In 2008, revenues were double what had been planned, and actual spending was 67% higher than the planned amount. The windfall income was mostly disbursed to the various ministries, but about SDG one billion was left for reserves (ref). An oil price collapse meant that income and spending were sharply down in 2009. They were still above the cautious levels planned in the annual budget, but there were nevertheless signs that ministries could not keep within budgets or well control their unplanned spending. In March 2009, arrears of salaries led to rioting by disabled soldiers in parts of Eastern and Central Equatoria States (ref); and in June the government had to ask donors to provide an extra USD 58 million to meet its share of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund programme (ref).

The second chart and table show that the occasional windfalls from high oil prices were spent in ways classed as 'operating' and 'capital'. (The exact nature of this extra spending might require further research.) Spending on salaries was relatively stable. It appears that, after the initial setting-up of GOSS in 2005-2006, spending on salaries drifted up. However, these figures have not been adjusted for inflation and/or depreciation of the Sudanese pound against the dollar.

Questions to pursue

  • What were (and are) the GOSS control mechanisms for spending against annual budgets?
  • Was there (and is there) a GOSS policy on treatment of oil income surpluses and deficits?
  • What has been the quality of non-budgeted spending of windfall oil revenues, especially in 2008?
Chart of GOSS revenues and spending, budgeted and actual, 2007-2011

Chart 1: GOSS spending and revenues, budgeted and actual, 2007-2011

Source: see table below for the source data.

Year SDG millions
  Budgeted revenues Budgeted spending Actual revenues Actual spending
2007 n/a n/a 2,978 2,936
2008 3,464 3,428 6,790 5,713
2009 3,658 3,606 4,240 4,235
2010 4,503 4,483 5,757 5,576
2011 5,767 5,767 n/a n/a

Table 1: GOSS spending and revenues, budgeted and actual, 2007-2011

Source: The data mainly comes from PEFA, c2011, Table 2.1, p.22. Figures for actual revenues and expenditures are the same here as in the South Sudan Statistical Yearbook 2011, Table 12.3, p.91, which is the source for the 2007 outcome data.


Chart 2: GOSS spending by salaries, operating and capital, 2005-2011

Source: See table below for the source data.

Year Spending type, SDG millions
  Salaries Operating Capital Total
2005 35 402 15 452
2006 1,186 1,438 958 3,582
2007 1,480 1,058 398 2,936
2008 1,873 2,227 1,612 5,713
2009 1,977 1,255 1,002 4,235
2010 2,205 2,280 1,091 5,576
2011 2,433 2,076 1,258 5,767

Table 2: GOSS spending by salaries, operating and capital, 2005-2011

Notes: Figures for 2005–2009 are confirmed outturn. Figures for 2010 are provisional outturn. Figures for 2011 are approved budget.

Source: South Sudan Statistical Yearbook 2011, Table 12.3, p.91

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Oil blocks and concession-holding companies


Map of oil concession blocks in South Sudan

Map: Oil concession blocks in South Sudan.

Source: Based on Geomedia and ECOS, 2007.

The Government of South Sudan has made ESPAs (exploration and production sharing agreements) with several oil companies. The primary companies are combined with others in joint operating companies (JOCs). Each JOC is provided with a concession to work in a geographical block or group of blocks.

The map on the right shows the rough location of the blocks. The table below shows the JOC that has the concession for each group of blocks, and the member companies of that JOC.

Blocks Productiveness Joint operating company Primary companies
1, 2, 4 An estimated 120,000 bpd of Nile Blend in 2011, but this includes the share of Sudan, as the blocks straddle the border. As of 2013/08 the border in this area is still contested, which has affected – and may well continue to affect – oil production. In any case, production here seems to be on a declining trend, down from 290,000 bpd in 2004. GPOC (Greater Pioneer Operating Company)
3, 7 An estimated 230,000 bpd of Dar Blend in 2011. DPOC (Dar Petroleum Operating Company)
5A An estimated 15,000 bpd of Nile Blend in 2011. SPOC (Sudd Petroleum Operating Company)
5B Not apparently producing. Exploration and development has been adversely affected by rebellion and violence in Jonglei. ASOC (ASCOM Sudd Operating Company)
A Not apparently producing [None: awaiting licensing]
B1, B2 Not apparently producing [?]
B3, E Not apparently producing [-]
C Not apparently producing [None: awaiting licensing]

Main Sources

For the Productiveness column, the main source is EIA, 2012/03/19.

For the company columns, the main source is the Nilepet website (accessed 2013/08/15). Under the Petroleum Act (2012) it appears that Nilepet is to be reconstituted as the National Petroleum and Gas Company. At the time of writing it is unclear how far this process has progressed, and it is here assumed that NPGC will take over Nilepet's shares in the various JOCs.

Questions to pursue
  • Are the ESPAs available to see? What is in them?
  • What are the relevant corporate policies (environment, labour, CSR etc) of each of the companies?
  • What are the practices of each company in publishing relevant information on the internet?

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Indicator values are shown in the table below alongside the year for which they were assessed. For further information, click on the source and 'details' text. Put the cursor over the indicator values to see selected comparisons.

Year Indicator Value Details
Resource Governance Index (rank among 58 resource-rich countries)
Stat 1090
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